Lincoln Budge.
An outstanding inspiring speaker at the Rotary Club of Alexandra .
Lincoln Budge grew up in Yackandandah and by his own admission was a bit of a tear away as a young chap. He did a boilermaker apprenticeship in Wangaratta and returned to Yackandandah to work. To celebrate his 22nd birthday with three cars of mates, they headed into the mountains to do some 4 wheel driving. Lincoln was a passenger in the 3rd vehicle when it rolled down a steep embankment and he was trapped in the car in a pond. When his best friend got to him he could tell there was something wrong with Lincoln’s spine. As there was no phone reception some of the others had to drive to get help.  Emergency services took 2 hours to get him out and it took another 5 hours to get him to hospital in Albury as they had to drive slowly so as not to put him through too much pain. From Albury he was taken to Melbourne where they realigned his spine but he was paralysed from the waist down.
In rehab reality set in but Lincoln was determined to be able to live independently. He was surrounded by great friends who recognised when he needed help and when he wanted to do it himself. Realising he couldn’t do the things he used to he got into wheel chair basketball then being a keen water skier wanted to get back into a boat but didn’t know how until one of his mates picked him up and threw him into the driver’s seat. From then on he became the boat driver for the water skiers. He then found someone in Bendigo who showed him how he could water ski and then he gave snow skiing a go. He skied with Disabled Winter Sports Australia and was invited to ski at Thredbo for a week with the para olympian coach. He went to Colorado with the para Olympic team and fell in love with skiing. He travelled the world for 4 years skiing and was ranked in the top 50. He crashed when training for the Soci Olympics and hurt is shoulder but skied on for 2 days in pain until forced to pull out. Lincoln came home and had a shoulder injury for 2 years ending the skiing career.
He decided to set up “Change my Life Program” talking to schools. He needed $50,000 to set up with equipment for wheelchair basketball and initially the Masonic Lodge and Lions organised a fundraising night, then the Lions took it on as a project.
Kubota Australia donated a $5000.00 ride on to raffle and he has had a lot of other support from community groups. So much so that he had all the needed equipment in 12 months.
He now goes to schools to enlighten them on people with disabilities. When kids are in the basketball wheelchairs they forget that Lincoln has a disability.
 During the day before our meting he conducted wheelchair basketball with Year7s at Alexandra Secondary College sponsored by our Rotary Club.
If you think you can help others by joining our Rotary Club contact our Secretary Chris Jackson on 0409402557 or 57722496